In the movies, officers often flash their law enforcement badges, and no one thinks twice. It is as if once people see a law enforcement badge, they are completely convinced of the legitimacy of the authority of the officer. This has always fascinated me. Badges for law enforcement give so much power. People never bother to verify whether or not a police badge is legitimate. If a cop showed me his badge, I wouldn’t even know how to question it. It is as if the police get their power not through their law enforcement training, but through the badge itself. It is the symbol that grants the power.
For many years, I wanted a law enforcement badge. It was only recently that I realized how easy law enforcement badges are to get. Don’t get me wrong. You cannot pick one up at the local firearms shop along with your police issue pistol. If you want to own your own law enforcement badges, you have to work a little bit harder than this. Nonetheless, you can find them. I have seen law enforcement badges in pawnshops, in reuse stores,and in a few other places which I can not name. I didn’t know whether or not these were legitimate badges that once belonged to a police officer. How would you know? I can’t tell, and neither can anyone else in the public. That is what give law enforcement badges their power.
One of the things that surprised me most is that you can even buy law enforcement badges off of the Internet. Most of the high-quality law enforcement badge companies make you send in a paper verifying that you are a police officer, but it has always seemed to me that this would be pretty easy to fake. I am sure that people order counterfeit law enforcement badges all the time. Can you think of a better tool for a criminal to have?
A lot of the people that I know don’t trust cops, but most of the public do. They may grumble about police officers privately, but if one ever shows his badge, they are likely to do whatever they are told to. I have never used any law enforcement badges to impersonate a police officer, but the temptation is there. I would love to see how people would react to me. I am curious if they could tell that I was not a cop.